Japanese news agencies have began reporting that singer ELISA has terminated her contract with her agency Smile Company, which expired at the end of September 2020. ELISA’s issues with her agency began in Spring 2018 when she was appointed a brand new manager.
Her manager was a man in his late 30s, married and with a child. Things quickly took a turn for the worse when he would routinely invite her out to dinner and bars, using the guise of “work meetings” to meet with her. ELISA’s manager would routinely get drunk while inappropriately embracing and kissing her. In an interview, ELISA detailed horrific situations where the sexual assault escalated.
After moving to a new house ELISA’s manager came over with the intent to help install electric appliances. Instead he forced her on top of a bed pinning her down, when ELISA tried to protest asking what he was doing he simply replied “I’m serious”.
She detailed another incident that happened in April 2019 where they were flying to Hawaii for a concert. Her manager lowered his pants saying “I want you to suck it”. After the concert concluded he tried to force himself on her again, inappropriately touching and kissing her while smelling of alcohol.
Naturally, ELISA was terrified of her manager and felt like she had to suppress her feelings in fear that it would effect her professional career. Eventually she had enough, and reported him to Smile Company in November 2019. Unfortunately, a lawyer from Smile Company ruled that what he was doing was not sexual assault, and more of a lovers quarrel saying that there was consent on both sides.
After reporting her manager and the ruling from the lawyer, the president of Smile Company was more distant and cold towards her, saying that they weren’t able to find a replacement for him and that it’s difficult to deal with talent who have a personal relationship with their manager. In January of this year she told them that she would be quitting once her contract expired in September.
Making her debut in 2007 ELISA has sang the theme for many beloved anime series including ef: a tale of memories, The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, 91 Days, and Expelled from Paradise.